September 25, 2017

I have been enjoying the ride. The weather has been terrific. I have been feeling relaxed and healthy. I have been just getting out and riding, doing whatever I feel like doing on a particular day. Still, I’ve ridden a lot (200 miles each the past two weeks, and well over 20,000 total feet of climbing). Why? Just because I can and because it was what I ended up doing.

Last week I was texting another cyclist to see what she was planning and she told me about the “Maple City Century” gravel grinder up in Wayne County, PA. A 100 mile hilly ride on mostly dirt roads, farm roads and ATV trails. I thought, “That seems like just the right amount of stupid”, sign me up.

So on Sunday September 24th I made my way to the start line in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. The event was not a race and I didn’t know anyone else riding, which is kind of nice. Everything would be new to me and I could ride it anyway I felt without any pressure or expectations. I asked a few other riders what to expect and they confirmed what I anticipated: It was a beautiful course, but would be very hilly, with a few really nasty climbs. The roads would encompass everything from pavement, to smooth farm roads, to gravel and even difficult off road ATV trails. As such, I used my cyclocross bike with off road cyclocross tires.

Ultimately the event delivered exactly what was promised: 97.5 miles with 8500+ feet of climbing; some very nasty and steep climbs on dirt; some rocky, challenging ATV trails; gorgeous views; terrific support; and a hard but fun day of riding. I finished the ride appropriately tired, but also invigorated. The day stretched my limits and capacity and I was left wondering “how much more can I do?’

I always tell my patients “Life is meant to be LIVED”. It is important to try new things, press your boundaries and test your perceived limits. I’m discovering new ways to test myself, and I’m enjoying it.

Now onto the next thing that is “just the right amount of stupid”…